tv The Communicators CSPAN October 15, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT
and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website. you can join in the conversation on social media sites. coming up tonight on c-span2, ""the communicators," features the technology advice for the obama and romney campaigns. on their candidates telecommunication agenda. then retired justice john paul stevens discusses the second amendment and gun laws. later the supreme court and fisher v. the university of texas. a case challenging affirmative action policy in college admission. our goal this week is to
look at the philosophies of both president obama and governor romney when it comes to tech and communications issues. and to explore any possible policy changes that could result from a second obama administration or a first romney administration. joining us in our discussion is john kneuer. he used to be the administrator of telecommunications under the george w. bush administration and ed paisley is also with us a long time journalist. he's currently vice president for editorial for the center for american progresses action fund. and mr. paisley tbb we could start with you. how would you describe president obama's overall philosophy when it comes to tech and communications issues? >> guest: i would include tech communications in science. i think all three go together. i think it's -- one from the other or two from the other.
the overall philosophy is trying to figure out the best way in which the federal government can work cooperatively with the private sector in improving u.s. competitiveness. and the administration did a number of different public private partnership in a lot of arena trying to boost our science and innovation capabilities. as a broad philosophical focus for what he thinks of as progressive agenda to help boost our economic -- around the globe. on telecom and communications in particular, i'm far less of an expert. i have to admit up front. in general, i would i think i would say it falls for the administration much more in to the regulatory arena how to deal with difference constituencies and businesses and trying to balance the different issues
that different kinds of industries come at. so and i would also say that in many ways the administration looks on i may be speaking too bluntly. i think the administration looks on far-reaching investment in science and innovation and as their policy agenda compared to trying to work out where telecommunications and i.t. firms can invest because they can do that pretty well on their own. they're powerful and quick, they are very adept. and it regulatory issues, i think that defined that there. >> host: same question with with regard to governor romney's philosophy. how would you describe it? >> guest: well, will let me say speaking for the campaign on the enthat is yaysic supporter of the campaign. >> i should add that as well. >> guest: i think ed makes a good point. enthere's broad con consensus they are some of the most innovative and contribute
enormously to our national productivity and to our standard of living. the readies tings, i think, between the two philosophy, what is the role of government with respect to these enormously innovative industries and whether or not one can take advantage of innovation, invest, changing technology, consumer demand, competing business moldses to -- models to drive the industry or whether or not there should be a more heavy involvement of the government. i think ed also exactly right with regards to telecom it's viewed as a regulatory matter. i think it comes from a real difference in viewpoints as to the state of competition within the industry. i think there is a viewpoint and perspective that there is not competition amongst strairs market barpts in component of
the industry. cable is a vertical and landline is a vertical and wireless is a vertical as opposed to the real recognition they are fiercely competing with one another. and in the competitive environment, the role of the government should be to protect that competition through the robust through the antitrust laws and competition statutes but not to planning that competition from a regulatory state of. >> host: and joining us is josh smith, he's with the national journal, mr. smith recently wrote a long piece comparing and contrasting the technology agenda and potential technology agenda of the two candidates. mr. smith, thanks for being with us. . >> guest: thanks for having me. >> host: john, you mentioned that within the tech community and the community, there are many verticals competing with each other. -- what are the companies
looking for at or i guess, the in the agenda of both candidates right now as far as clues for what might come ahead, you know, obviously telecom issues are not something that often pops up on the campaign trail, where are companies, you know, looking for clues as far as what the agendas will be. >> guest: i think ideally what they should be looking for is a common understanding of the rules of the road, and the ability to enter the marketplace and compete with one another. i think part of the problem, it's a real problem when the regulatory tries to manage competition, then the incentive for participates to become rent seekers and -- in a way that is going to maximize their business rather than looking to consumer demand and business models and engage in that way. i think what they're looking for is certainty in what the rules of the road are, and to the
maximum extent possible rules that don't interfere with their efforts to meet that consumer demand. >> host: what do you see as far as where should companies be looking for clues about what a second obama administration might entail, ed? >> >> guest: again for somebody in telecom and i.t. i agree completely. i think the danger is the recent seeking cape ability that regulation is general bring and in the way which companies can interfere and influence through congress to the courts. and antitrust is clearly one of the great ways you can deal with that. the trouble with i.t. and -- nay can barely keep up with what's going on. it's very difficult. i really do think that in the next administration, congress is going to be the one that's going to be driving some of these things. it comes down to the kind of regulatory issues that there. converse riley, on the science
and innovation side, i think the big difference there's a real commitment to public private partnership by the obama administration looking for ways you can have collaborative progress to be able to outcompete our increasingly fierce competitors abroad. and those kind of initiatives that first the experiment and pretty well -- through a number of different initiatives are focusing on the bottom up regional exaibilityd in different part of the country, different industry, places we're strong, places are we we need to be stronger. it's been deride as [inaudible] it's not that. it's trying to find that bridge between the basic development money that goes throughout and no money at all through the financing to get things commercialized. it's experimenting trying to find the ways. and it's very unique.
it's very different from what the romney campaign, the romney campaign hasn't talked about this at all. it's sector private sector for the obama administration, really is collaborative approach. >> host: john, when you hear public private partnership what's your response. >> guest: ting goes to defining the role of government, and the federal government has historically had a long and successful history in research and development funding that clearly places in particular with pure basic research where there isn't an economic or business incent i have to engage in research. the government can go a long way. with collaboration in university, those sorts of things. ii think the trouble is where do you define it and what is the government's role in the partnership. very often the companies come in looking for research money and it's, you know, [inaudible]
they can contribute to get to their bottom line. and look, i understand there are incentives for wanting to do that. i think the other problem is when the government views its as a partner, and is driving economic decisions for favored political entities, you know, i'm not going to go in to a long rehash on some of the recent experiences around for instance investment in renewable energy and the less than successful endovers there. it's when the government views the role in the partnership steering the ultimate outcome i think you run a danger, it's a not a government picking winners and losers. some of the robust market-based outcomes and consumer-driven outcomes that get revealed through this messy competition in the marketplace get pushed to
the side in favor what appears to be a preferred, you know, parochial outcome and, you know, again, i think there's a broad consensus, the government has a role in helping sponsor research, partnership with government labs, universities, those sorts of things are areas where partnership that are successful, i think it's when the government steps in almost on a commercial partner that not only do you have a less sen in the likelihood of scetsz you do real harm to emerging technology . >> guest: the interesting thing about this when you think about what the administration has done. they are offering competitive grants to regions around the country competing for the first one the experimental one was on energy efficiency technology, and consortia of twelve
energy efficiency technology both basically research and development and commercialization and work force training. it's got to be get people to go to the right place and put thing in -- [inaudible] stuff like that. that was not picking a winner. that was picking a sector. now energy efficiency most people agree is a useful sector. i mean, we've got a kind of reliance on [inaudible] forget climate change for this point. a number of those have gone elsewhere. the i6 change which is another program which is six different agencies coming together looking for ways to boost both tom up regional -- st. louis won a bio-- they won it because that
was where the [inaudible] arrived that. i had a long time they will have a real expertize in animal husband try. and when we're looking at here's a next way the next way for us to compete as a region csh regional economy not picking winners. st. louis and kansas industries all of there in one place. it's an innovative approach, and the either or idea that is either industrial policy or free market misses the point in my opinion whatever country is competing with is doing. they are picking winners and familying. we not picking winners. we're picking sectors. it's a big difference. >> host: do you think that one of governor romney's criticism of the boshes obama marlings -- administration what they see is a smart way. do you see something changing in
the second obama administration from what they have been doing? you listed off a lot of things you say as innovation. is there a next way of innovation, you know, in obama's playbook. >> guest: i'll say two things. i think they learned a number of lessons when you get there. they mention solyndra. it was a mistake. it was a problem. and there we are. but that also was a mistake. in market forces involving china which is not raddling backwards again. the chinese -- industry is now collapsing because they overbuilt themselves. nonetheless, those kinds of lessons are going to be learned by any kind of programs that is up and running for are the first time. the second thing, [inaudible] what the administration is looking for is next generation stuff personalized medicine. 3 did printing. advanced poll hers, nano technology at the cuts edge.
it marries search and development with the early help for commercialization. as i said before $250 billion before putting the basic research and development. not a dime to commercialize it. there's a huge gap between private sector will do and what the government will do. there are no more bell labs out there bridging the gap p it's got to be done collaborative. many different sentence and technology coming together. it requires collaboration. i think they'll learn more with those. >> host: ed let's start with you. cybersecurity has been talked about awile. there's a clear divide between democrat and republicans on sirer security. what do you think going forward is the best strategy when it comes to cybersecurity? >> guest: again, this it not [inaudible]
protect american companies an the economy infrastructure from cyberattacks that's a critical national security issue. and there are many things that have to be done. i understand the position of industries different industries worried about what's going to happen if they are policed by the national security agency or something like that. but we have to fess up to the fact we need to protect ourself and we really do that. that's going to be a major debating point in the next administration and the next congress. because it is really only getting worse. and our adversaries are worried about us too. and, you know, we're probably pretty good at it. and so there's a number of international things that also have to be worked out. i think that's coming to a head in the next administration as well. >> host: john? >> guest: obviously cybersecurity is a critical issue for government networks
and private networks and commercial networking. there's clear thely an important place for the industry and government to collaborate particularly on the sharing of information. identifying what attacks each is being subject to what effective remedies to the attacks might be. i think the split in the danger is whether or not one supports the premises that the federal government ought to take a leadership role in establishing the cybersecurity standards. there's i can't think of anywhere else in the economy where with the technology changes more quickly than in the internet space and the threat factor changes more quickly. the reason it's so critically important to share information amongst commercial entities, between commercial entity and government is the type of attacks change almost daily. having a place where you can share the information and we can be better prepared to
compliance. >> host: joining us in our discussion are john kneuer former national tell under the george w. bush administration. else ed paisley of the center for american progress action fund and josh smith is our guest reporter from the "national journal." >> host: john, governor romney has, you know, laid out a specific proposal on cybersecurity beyond some general proposals. he has called, however, for greater involvement of the intelligence and defense communities and its officials in the intelligence in -- vocal
voices in calling for some of the standards that republicans in congress and the chamber of commerce and many businesses have rejected. do you see a president romney taking the side of a business, i guess, against the defense department, against the national security agency? >> guest: i'm not sure there is that kind of a brieghtd line opposition between the entities that you laid out. i think in looking to the military defense and the department and the intelligence community, i think it's simply an acknowledgment that is where the real expertise resides within the government. they have got the human capital resources that have been dealing with this in a much more proactive way for a much longer time. the issue of cybersecurity has been one that's been very greatly defined for a long time
between classified networks and unnetworks. and candidly we didn't do a bunch to protect our unclassified networks almost as a purposeful strategy in closing off the networking and shutting the door and locking it to our adversary. you're telling your adversary something about what you know and how you defend your networks. so the intelligence community and the defense communities as the primary owners and operators are classified networking. i think they spend a lot more time dealing with this threat. it's only been recently we have moved toward the necessity to close off even the unclassified networking even though the information may not be classified in the aggravate. it becomes top of a problem. i think the reliance on self-defense intention is primarily around the that's where the expertize reside. as far as your statement that
some of those folks who are supportive of regulation, you know, i don't know that is a, you know, a unified position of those communities. so. >> host: even though we're talk aboutings the presidential campaigns, ed paisley, you introskewsed -- introduced the topic of congress. there's going to be a new congress coming up. how would you characterize congress over the past couple of years when it comes to technology and communications pots and -- policy and how would you personally like to see them move forward? >> guest: umm, i'll start again with science and innovation. and i'm deeply worried about the budget cuts that were proposed by the house on basic science, research, and diswoment for all kinds of agencies. it's the wrong way to go. we absolutely need to begin investing and continue to invest
as the administration did in the first two years the administration with the congress agreed with them. to invest in many of these important cutting edge industries. and i think we have to do that and trying to cut everything to so we can increase defense spending and increase taxes for the wealthy doesn't make sense to me. there's a huge philosophical difference, obviously. i think the other part that is important getting back to cybersecurity. one of the investment is in the smart grid. our power infrastructure is very, very vulnerable to cyberattacks. that takes the kind of investment we need from darp pa -- darpa collaborative efforts to protect our infrastructure and also make it more effective and efficient and, you know, cut power costs and cut, you know, carbon pollution. there are a variety of different
things one can do with that. and congress has not moved on that. and i truly worry about gridlock in the next administration really no matter who wins. and that's just a difficult issue and it does concern me that the republicans in the house in particular are focused on anything involving the government must be bad. it's just not true. and we need think about ways that the public and private sector can collaborate better. >> host: john? >> guest: i think there is a tendency to? discussing any cuts in potential and cuts and funding anywhere to draw the conclusion that well, nothing will happen. we won't be able to fund anything. there clearly is a role for research and basic research investment, questions is making sure those dollars when they're being spent is being put towards
and effective use and not being put thwart toward pet project. you mentioned solyndra. and now the chinese government subsidizes have pumped up their solar industry to that extent, it's almost proverse we were borrowing money from china. the chinese were funding both sides. they both complained because it was driven by a centralized view of what might be good rather than consumer demand and business models and market dynamics that reveal what people really want what the efficacy is. i agree there's always room for innovation and investment in our power grid just as there is in our communication networking. again, i think the best place to figure out and understand where those investments are needed and where they should go is from the
operators is from the not necessarily from here. >> guest: one of the areas of spending that has been a at least in the telecom world the center piece is that the government effort to develop broad band networks, and even, i mean, the republican party platform even had a large section hitting the obama administration for spending $7.2 odd billion dollars and republicans view not having much to show for it. what's the report card on that spending and how do you think that kind of development would change over the next couple of years? >> guest: i think it needs to be put in context. the $7.2 billion over three or four years, to get the exact it was $4 odd billion comes out of nti and the rest was loan guarantees to the [inaudible] service.
that is in comparison close to $100 billion a year in -- every year. by the private industry that have biment these things and continue to build and operate networkings. we have a long history going back to the electrification and the original service fund the recognition there are networking effects that benefit everybody on the networking whether it's the power grid or the communication networking to make sure that everybody is connecting. the challenge is designing a tax and subsidize regime that isn't out of date and full of waste. you know, we looked at one of the things that come up repeatedly is the universal service fund and make a broadband. ii don't think anybody was philosophically opposed to
that. what the implant is you can't make the existing fund which isn't performing well bigger. you need to do fundamental reform to make sure the minimal amount of money is collected and it's being devoted to fill the gaps that are there. i think the prepare flaw of the recent broad band exercise was that there were multiple component in that statute. there was a $7 billion in funding and $300 million for mapping to actually measure where the gaps. want mapping was going to be after the $7.2 billion was already spent. it strikes me as a not likely to produce a successful distribution to the money if they are needed if you actually don't know them. >> host: do you see -- you've been inching for an in the telecom discussion -- [laughter] do so you see investment in
communications networks as one area with the obama administration has done well or do you think there's more work to be done? >> guest: i have to say. it's hard to me to speak about that. i haven't involved the debate. one idea came up which i thought was a good one. i'll throw it out there. the idea of dig once, build twice. we had a lot of infrastructure, roads and bridges and all these things that have to be rebuilt. it's good investment to support our country. you can -- lay broadband while doing it. you get the cap c.a.p. ex-- kape x it's a woafort way to go about investing three thingsed at one. trying to collaborate on those. >> host: do you think the communication infrastructure falls fleetly under -- so president obama's famous line